‘Brilliant’ Weston College awards night celebrates a year of success for students and staff

PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 December 2016 | UPDATED: 08:43 05 December 2016

Jordan Tucker, Abigail Hopkins and Farrah Seyedi with their two awards.

Jordan Tucker, Abigail Hopkins and Farrah Seyedi with their two awards.

Archant

A host of inspirational and hard-working students were rewarded for their efforts over the past year at Weston College’s annual celebration of success awards.

The glamorous event was held at DoubleTree by Hilton, Cadbury House, in Congresbury, and a three-course meal and award presentation took place in a gold-themed room, complete with a video screen and an inspiring speech from BBC Points West presenter Alex Lovell.

The presenter handed out the 30 awards to the very best students and staff, to mark another successful year at the college.

Dr Paul Phillips, principal and chief executive of the college, struggled to contain his pride as he welcomed guests, students and staff to mark the occasion.

It was a lively event, with Dr Phillips introduced to the audience by an X-Factor-style voice over and he said he hoped everyone who 
had been rewarded at the evening would go on to enjoy ‘even greater success’.

Students’ spirit and the ability to overcome adversity were two qualities which the college wanted to acknowledge and this could not have been truer for two students.

Abigail Hopkins was crowned the higher education student of the year and her ability to catch up with her work, despite a number of health challenges, was described as ‘an example to others’. She was also praised for her positive attitude.

The night also illustrated the number of different specialities and campuses at the college, including its autism residential facility, Weston Bay.

This provides independent living training for young people on the autism spectrum. Autism can mean students struggle in social situations and with the prospect of living away while studying. Weston Bay helps students face these fears and conquer them.

Cadbury House. Cadbury House.

It did just that for Farrah Seyedi. She was crowned Weston Bay student of the year and is now studying textiles at Plymouth College of Arts, having been told she would never go to college and live independently.

Farrah’s award was one of three which was left as a surprise on the night – and no-one was more shocked than her.

She said: “When I heard there was an award for Weston Bay I never thought it could be for me, I was speechless.

“I was very proud. I really want to thank everyone that has supported me this year.”

Computing student Jordan Tucker also enjoyed a successful night, securing IT student of the year, despite having no prior knowledge of computing before arriving at the college.

He said: “I worked really hard outside of my course to develop my skills and progress. The awards tonight were brilliant because I felt like my achievements were being acknowledged.”

Keynote speaker Alex Lovell delivered a speech with the message ‘you can achieve anything you put your mind to’.

She said after the event: “It was a real pleasure to be invited to take part in a ceremony that celebrates success and positivity, at a college that is enviable in its results and recognition.”

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